City leaders and business owners prepare for RAGBRAI stop in Mason City
MASON CITY, Iowa (KTTC) – For the first time in eight years, the RAGBRAI bike tour is making an overnight stop in Mason City.
Since the beginning of the year, the community of Mason City has been getting ready to welcome RAGBRAI participants on day four of the ride.
“Anticipating what they’re going to need. Not just food, not just water. But charging their phones. Just having a welcoming atmosphere here,” RAGBRAI Mason City hospitality chair Melissa Fabian said.
The riders will be finishing up their longest leg of the ride, more than 100 miles from Emmetsburg to Mason City.
“It’s not just welcome, it’s a congratulations and a celebration,” Fabian said.
To help celebrate, the city has placed “100″ signs all around town.
“They are great opportunities for photo ops, for people to kind of document their century ride,” Fabian said.
While city leaders are busy blocking off streets and hanging signs, local business owners are also putting in the work.
“We’ve been ordering since last week, ordering our beer, our supplies, our food. Yesterday we spent all morning and afternoon and a part of the evening cooking and cutting up veggies,” local restaurant Happy Donkey co-owner Rosita Cansino said.
The last time Mason City hosted RAGBRAI was in 2014 which is the last time some businesses have had to prepare this much.
“We weren’t expecting a lot until the main day. I’m like “Oh, my gosh!” My dad’s like “Go back home, get more stuff!” We weren’t ready. We had never been to an event like this,” Cansino said.
Although it’s been a lot of work and collaboration, city leaders say they are honored to host this longtime ride.
“It shows confidence in our community that we can welcome this many people. It’s been fabulous seeing all of the homes open up, all the businesses participating. It’s an honor, and I am glad they chose us,” Fabian said.
City leaders say the early risers will be coming through Mason City around noon Wednesday, but cyclists will be coming through all afternoon.
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